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Nucleic acids

Nucleic acids are macromolecules (very large molecules) that are essential for storing and expressing genetic information.

A nucleic acid is a polymer, a long chain of small similar units.

There are two types of nucleic acid in a cell:

DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) stores genetic information. In eukaryotes, DNA is found in the nucleus (hence the generic name "nucleic acid").

RNA (ribonucleic acid) uses the information encoded in the DNA and is associated with making proteins.

In eukaryotes, DNA is only found in the nucleus while RNA is found in the nucleus and the cytosol.

DNA is a double strand whereas RNA is a single strand.

There are several different types of RNA such as messenger, transfer and ribosomal RNA.